I am a Survivor. With a big ol’ capital S. Why the big S? Because being a Survivor requires the acknowledgment of something stronger than just a name or description. It’s not who I am totally, but a big portion of my heart, soul and body. - Shani Kenny 2015

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Giving into the emotions.....

……is sometimes all that’s needed. As most everyone knows, I’ve had a really messed up few weeks. Between my constant tummy issues, lack of sleep, stress and over all frustration and anger (towards all of the things mentioned before), I’ve just had a bad attitude. You know? For three days now, I’ve felt way better. Just out of the blue! Thank heavens for a reprieve. I’m more than sure that it won’t last as long as I hope it will. Thankfully, I see my doctor next week and then a specialist in two weeks. It WILL get better. I have faith in that.
But my reason for posting today, I’ve had a few days of reflection also. Through some awesome talks with my “Twin” Shannon, it’s triggered some of the memories and dreams I’ve had of my mom. BTW, I call Shannon my Twin, because we’re so much alike, it’s scary. My given name is actually Shannon. Even though I go by Shani. The scary part? Shannon’s boyfriends name is Chris! My husband’s name is Chris and so is my sons.  I love her to pieces and adore her. Our friendship hasn’t always been at it’s best, hell nobodies is perfect. But in all the years I’ve known her, I’ve grown to love her like a sister. Someone who is so selfless in so many ways it’s amazing. There moments where she has listened as I rambled on and on…she gets things that most don’t. We understand so much and she often tells me It’s a “Shannon” thing lol.

But like usual, I digress. Oh please like you didn’t realize I’m totally random and ADD and run off on other things and getting away from my point? LOL…but there I go…randomness hits!

Today is her mother’s birthday. She passed away a few years ago. She was very close to her mom, like I was to my mom. I get the feelings she’s having and the heartache. She’s had a rough year over all. I won’t post her business here, that’s private. But I’ll tell you this, she’s a TRUE Survivor. Remember what I’ve said from the get go about that word? I am a Survivor. “With a big ol’ capital S. Why the big S? Because being a Survivor requires the acknowledgment of something stronger than just a name or description. It’s not who I am totally, but a big portion of my heart, soul and body.” It rings true for her as well as so many other Survivors. It’s a role we may not have wanted, but it’s there. We’re Survivors and we’re going to make it through.

As I’ve been thinking of my Twin, it’s made me reflect on my own mom. You could say it was a “trigger”. Any Survivor or Survivor of PTSD understands what that is. It’s one thing that can set you off on to a different path of flash backs, memories or terror. PTSD is one of the hardest thing for Survivors to live with. So yes, her talks triggered that for me. Ironically, not in a bad way. In a good way. I’ve been plagued with nightmares for weeks since I’ve been dealing with this BS with my health. But Shannon’s chat with me triggered GOOD dreams.

I had a dream this last few days where we had this HUGE celebration. I’m talking concert worthy celebration. It was so weird!!!!! She was there, I was, so many of us Survivors. We got to get up and talk about our loved ones or our experiences in life. In the dream I stood on a stage with a microphone and said, “Never was my mom perfect, but she was my mom. She was everything to us. The one lesson she forgot to teach us how to live with out her. But in reality, she did. Losing her, we were forced into that lesson.” By the way, part of what I said was exactly what I said at her memorial. My mom wanted to always be celebrated, never a funeral. Hence the memorial and “party” after. But this was so weird, this dream. So raw and just… odd to me. But it made me think  A LOT about my mom. Suddenly memories started flooding back in. GOOD memories at that!! Mostly, some bad. But I’ve been able to open up with my kids as I’ve remembered stuff. Remembering is huge for me, because of the PTSD but also because of the fibromyalgia. Remembering my name some days is just hard lol. But these memories, they pushed the anger and sadness out of my head and heart some. Memories that I can look back at and smile and laugh. In this dream, we all got to celebrate our loved ones. We told stories about them to this huge crowd. I’ve always, always been open about my family and am notorious amongst my friends for my posts about my family on Facebook. Sometimes yeah, I’m an over share kind of person lol. But this dream….I really, really got to get a message out. Like I was yelling to her in heaven, telling her I get it now. I love her, and it’s really going to be ok. For me, with the way I’ve been for the last two weeks, so negative and just angry, it was a smack in the face. A smack I needed. I needed to look at things differently. For the last four days, I’ve felt so much better. I miss my mom every single day of my life. I still cry, get angry, get happy, etc. Some days or moments are worse than others. When you think you’re ok, it hits you hard. Whether or not it’s a good trigger or bad one.

It’s made me think a lot about Shannon, and her own grieving. I don’t care who you are, you will always have some type of grieving pop up when you lose someone you love and especially when you were close to them. It’s been 13 years since I lost my own mom and this year, it was super hard on me. I felt like a shell of myself, crying, getting angry, fighting for understanding and just plain sadness. I think part of it is how effed up my health is. A reminder that she went through so very  much at my age. It’s hard to reflect on the bad stuff. You know?

In that, I want to make a point of saying that it never matters how long it’s been. I know my Twin is hurting, and I wish I could magically across the country and knock on her front door and just hug her. Hug her until some of that grief settles away. Take my babies and my Chris and just harass the hell out of her. Make her laugh, smile, have a shoulder to lean on. For both her and her Chris. To have us together as a family and help her through this. It’s hard on someone who has gone through as much as she has this past year. It’s hard when all is failing and you want that person right in front of you and you can’t have them. From her stories about her mom, I understand how special she really was to my Twin. She’s one of the lucky ones you know. Having a mom who truly loved her unconditionally and was there. Not a lot of people can say that. She was/is very close to her mom, just like I was with mine. It’s not something you can turn on and off. The grief and mourning will come back. It never truly goes away. And for her, that’s part of the reason it’s hitting her so much. She’s so strong even though in this moment, she doesn’t feel like it.

My Twin – Shannon, I want to tell you this….YOU my wonderful, beautiful, amazing, crazy, hilarious,  smart, selfless friend, are just amazing. You ARE a Survivor in every sense of the word. You have the ability to just share your love for your friends and family. The walls are  there, just like with all of us. But the ones  you’ve let over that wall, you love them beyond what anyone ever expected. I know this is so hard on you right now and I would take it all away in a heartbeat if I could. I’d make it better for you, and give you peace. It pains me not to be able to do that. You and I both know, it WILL get better. But don’t beat yourself up for feeling this pain. You’re allowed you know, to just sit back and have an off day. To just let it all out and not push it down and out and fighting you. I know you my love, we’re so much alike. Right my Twin? Let yourself go…allow your emotions to flow out and even through it, you’ll find a little peace. I know for a fact your mom is so proud of you.  You’ve come so far in the many, many years I’ve known you. I’m so proud of you and the strides you’ve taken and have a better life than you did just a few years ago. You found such an amazing Chris to be there and to love and knowing he loves you just as much. How many people can say that? I think he’s so wonderful and just the best.

My friend, I love you more than I can ever put into words. You know I’m serious when I tell you that I love you, and in so many ways, you ARE my sister. I always wanted a sister you know. Brothers just aren’t the same! ;) you are so strong, you are a Survivor. Rejoice in her love, and the love you have for those close to you. You deserve all the happiness in the world.

In closing, to all of you…no matter what you’re going through, you’re not alone. Reach out, put your hand out there and tell someone you trust and love that you just need a hug, a moment to talk,  whatever it is. Share what you’re feeling, and it WILL bring you some peace. I can guarantee you will. Celebrate the love you have for your loved ones who are gone. Celebrate the memories of good and the love shared. No matter how long it’s been, you’re still going to grieve. Allow yourself to do that. If you don’t, you hurt yourself and those who love you. Do it for your loved one. Allow every emotion to come through that connection then rejoice and celebrate.  Sometimes I think, “What would my mom do?” and I reflect on that. Do as she always told me, celebrate her life.

Celebrate and rejoice my friends in all the love you have and the ones gone. Because no matter what happens, you deserve to pull out and bring out all the emotions you’re feeling. Grieving pops up out of nowhere. Embrace it, and find some peace.

I’m so thankful for all of my family, friends and supporters. I hope that through my ramblings and craziness, this brings a smile to someone’s face. A moment of peace.

With all my love, hugs and maybe a cookie…..

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